- Full name Peter Christopher Bourjos
- Born 03/31/1987 in Park Ridge, IL
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 190 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Notre Dame Prep
- Debut 08/03/2010
- Drafted in the 10th round (313th overall) by the Los Angeles Angels in 2005 (signed for $325,000).
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Angels signed Bourjos for $325,000 as a 10th-rounder out of high school, gambling on his athleticism and bloodlines. His father Chris played professionally for seven seasons, reaching San Francisco for a cup of coffee in 1980, and now scouts for the Brewers. Bourjos led the Texas League with 14 triples last season, but he tailed off in the second half as he played through a ligament tear in his left wrist that required postseason surgery. Bourjos claims that no one ever has bested him in a footrace. Managers rated him the TL's most exciting player as well as its best defensive outfielder. He ranges well into both gaps, and his long legs belie his plus-plus speed. His solid-average arm strength gives him an advantage over most center fielders. He has a quick bat and made significant improvement at the plate in 2009, more notably with his discipline and pitch recognition. Though Bourjos ranked fifth in the TL with 32 stolen bases, Los Angeles would like him to run more frequently and improve his success rate (which dipped to 73 percent last year). He shows gap power when he stays balanced and gets his arms extended, but he still tends to open early and leave himself vulnerable to offspeed stuff away. Injuries to his left arm, first a broken finger and then a hyperextended elbow, cost him some much-needed at-bats in 2007 and 2008. Bourjos has game-changing defensive ability, and his progress at the plate has boosted his stock. The Angels added him to the 40-man roster in the offseason, but with Torii Hunter under contract for three more seasons, Bourjos still has plenty of time to develop.
The son of former big leaguer and current Brewers scout Chris Bourjos, Peter signed for an above-slot $325,000 as a 10th-round pick in 2005. Hand injuries hampered his first taste of full-season ball in 2007, but they did not impact his impressive speed. He rebounded to lead the high Class A California League with 50 steals in 2008, and ranked fifth in the circuit with 150 hits. Bourjos is a legitimate center fielder with plus-plus speed, the ability to cover both gaps with ease and a solid arm. He improved as a basestealer in 2008, succeeding on 83 percent of his attempts, up from 70 percent previously in his career. He has good bat speed, drives balls to the gaps and could have at least average power. His arm is solid for center field. Despite his solid season, there are still questions about Bourjos' bat. He has a funky swing and though he showed some improvement, he still chases pitches out of the strike zone and rarely walks. He'll need to show a much more patient approach to realize his potential as a leadoff hitter. He struggles to make adjustments at times, leading to extended slumps. Bourjos was 21 last season, so he still has plenty of time to improve. The Angels don't need to rush him and will send him to Double-A in 2009.
The Angels took a chance on Bourjos in the 10th round in 2005 and signed him for $325,000. On the second day of the 2007 season, he ruptured the ligament between the middle and ring finger on his left hand and fractured the ring finger taking a swing on a cold night. He tried to play with the injury before having surgery in May, missing more than two months. His father Chris played briefly in the majors and now scouts for the Brewers. Bourjos is an above-average runner who glides from gap to gap in the outfield with long, even strides and tremendous acceleration. He has a solid-average arm to complete the defensive package. He has plenty of bat speed and the makings of average power. He has good instincts and has made strides in his bunting and bat control, two elements he needs to add to his game. The biggest question on Bourjos is a big one: Will he hit? His approach vacillates from at-bat to at-bat, he's busy in his setup and he often lacks balance through his swing. His bad habit of drifting toward the pitcher, failing to keep his hands and weight back, makes him particularly vulnerable to offspeed stuff. Bourjos has the tools to impact the game in many ways while playing a premium position. The Angels were pleased with his showing in instructional league and should give him a shot at high Class A at some point in 2008.
The Angels grew fond of Bourjos' tools during his senior season in high school, and took him in the 10th round of the 2005 draft and signed him for $325,000, the equivalent of late third-round money. His father Chris played 24 games as an outfielder for the 1980 Giants and scouts for the Brewers. Peter made his pro debut in 2006, turning in a solid performance and standing out with his speed and defense. Longtime manager and scout Tom Kotchman went as far as to proclaim him the best defensive center fielder he had coached since Devon White. Bourjos is an easy, graceful runner with good instincts that are evident in his reads and routes. He has average arm strength. His approach at the plate is crude. He has above-average bat speed and average raw power, but his swing is loopy and he tends to work around the ball. He has a rudimentary feel for the strike zone, and he needs to improve his bunting and pitch selection. He also will have to refine his basestealing skills. He'll continue to develop level by level, spending 2007 in low Class A.
Scouting director Eddie Bane has shown a willingness to gamble in the two drafts he has run for the Angels. In 2004, he took Jered Weaver 12th overall and the team successfully waited out his exorbitant bonus demands, and Los Angeles also landed late-round studs such as Nick Adenhart and Mark Trumbo. The Angels' most successful gamble in 2005 was Bourjos, a multitooled center fielder who had committed to Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University. Los Angeles took him in the 10th round and signed him late in the summer for $325,000, the equivalent of late third-round money. Bourjos' father Chris played briefly in the majors and scouts for the Brewers, and Peter has the instincts of someone who has grown up around the game. His best tool is his speed, as he's capable of running the 60-yard dash in 6.45 seconds. He's a righthanded hitter, and the Angels are toying with the idea of trying to make more use of his speed by having him switch-hit. Bourjos is a legitimate center fielder with 25-25 potential. Los Angeles can't wait to see him in game action, and he should make his pro debut in Rookie ball in June.
Minor League Top Prospects
Bourjos set a PCL record with 56 hits in July and was called up to the majors shortly thereafter, with Torii Hunter shifting to right field to make room for him in center. While he made noise with his bat in Triple-A, Bourjos' defensive play is what sets him apart. Managers have rated Bourjos the best defensive outfielder and most exciting player in his league for three straight years. He's still refining his routes to balls but he can use his plus-plus speed to outrun almost any mistake he makes. His arm strength is average, making it solid for center field, and he makes accurate throws. Despite his offensive prowess at Salt Lake, some observers were skeptical that he'll hit enough to be a major league leadoff man. He has a quick swing and uses the entire field, but he tends to spin off balls, giving away the outer half and making him susceptible to breaking pitches. He needs to work at getting on base so he can take advantage of his basestealing ability.
Bothered by a wrist injury for most of the second half of the season, Bourjos still led the TL with 14 triples and managers universally regarded him as the most exciting player in the league. The excitement stems from Bourjos' plus-plus speed, which is legitimate yet deceptive. He never looks like he's running particularly hard, but watching him go from first to third always leaves an impression. He's also a well above-average defender in center field, with a strong, accurate arm. Bourjos has an unorthodox swing but he makes it work, and he is improving his bunting ability as well as his pitch recognition. He shows some pop when he gets good extension, though it's just gap power.
The Angels gave Bourjos $325,000 as a 10th-round pick in 2005 based on his speed and defense. He has shown a much more well-rounded game over the past couple of seasons and now looks like he could be an everyday center fielder in the big leagues. Most of Bourjos' tools compare favorably with the outfielders listed above him, such as Hunter or Borbon. He has great range and a good arm in center field, and his above-average speed allows him to steal bases easily--though he does need to improve on the nuances on the craft. He led the Cal League with 50 steals. The biggest question mark is Bourjos' bat. His swing and lack of discipline can both be problematic, and he strikes out too much for the leadoff profile his tools would suggest. And when he goes bad, he goes very bad and struggles to make adjustments.
The son of former big leaguer and current Brewers scout Chris Bourjos, Peter lasted until the 10th round of the 2005 draft because he was raw, and had committed to attend Grand Canyon (Ariz.) CC. The Angels gave him $325,000, which looks like money well spent after he blossomed this summer. Bourjos has plus-plus speed that should make him a dangerous basestealing threat once he gains more experience, and it already plays well in center fielder. Not only was Bourjos the top defensive outfielder in the league, but Orem manager Tom Kotchman called him the best he had coached since Devon White two decades ago. While he held his own against older pitchers, Bourjos has plenty of adjustments to make. His natural stroke provides average power from gap to gap, but his swing gets long at times. He also needs to improve his on-base and bunting ability to truly flourish as a leadoff hitter.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Pacific Coast League in 2010
- Rated Most Exciting Player in the Pacific Coast League in 2010
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Pacific Coast League in 2010
- Rated Best Baserunner in the Pacific Coast League in 2010
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Los Angeles Angels in 2010
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Los Angeles Angels in 2010
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Texas League in 2009
- Rated Most Exciting Player in the Texas League in 2009
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Los Angeles Angels in 2009
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Los Angeles Angels in 2009
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the California League in 2008
- Rated Most Exciting Player in the California League in 2008
- Rated Best Baserunner in the California League in 2008
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Los Angeles Angels in 2008
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Los Angeles Angels in 2008
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Los Angeles Angels in 2007
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Los Angeles Angels in 2006